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Forces in Afghanistan Kill 61 Enemy Fighters, Capture 20

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2006 – A series of continuous offensive operations May 17 and yesterday across eastern and southern Afghanistan left 61 Taliban extremists dead and 20 others captured, military officials here reported today.

Afghan National Police and coalition forces killed a reported 60 enemy fighters and captured 20 during a battle in the village of Musa Qalah in Helmand province May 17, Copmbined Forces Command Afghanistan officials said. The joint force pursued the fighters after receiving reports of a large enemy force moving from Musa Qalah. Sixteen police were killed and 20 were wounded in the conflict.

"Extremists terrorized the town of Musa Qalah overnight, setting fires and attacking government agencies," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76. "The ANP rapidly responded to drive them out with great success. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 16 brave police officers who sacrificed their lives defending the people of Musa Qalah."

In a separate operation in the Bahrami District of Ghazni province yesterday, ANP and coalition forces engaged about 30 extremists with small arms and mortar fire in the village of Godale Shamshir in Ghazni province. A policeman and an enemy combatant were killed in the firefight.

During the engagement, coalition attack aircraft provided close-air support and conducted strikes on enemy positions.

"Afghan national security forces are seeking out and destroying the extremists who threaten the Afghan people and who stand in the way of growth and progress," Freakley said. "There will be no sanctuary afforded the enemy, and no respite."

Taliban extremists claim to have mounted a spring offensive in southern Afghanistan, but Afghan and coalition forces "have clearly demonstrated they have seized and maintained the initiative, and are capable of conducting simultaneous combat operations throughout the country where ever the enemy attempts to move," according to a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan statement.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Forces Command Afghanistan
Combined Joint Task Force 76

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